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Swiss Army Man [2016] [R] - 7.7.5

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

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A friendless man (Paul Dano) stranded on a tiny deserted island contemplates suicide, until he sees another man (Daniel Radcliffe) lying on the beach. The newcomer is dead, but the corpse makes a useful companion and through various "corpse superpowers," the dead man guides the loner home. Also with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Richard Gross, Timothy Eulich, Marika Casteel, Aaron Marshall and Andy Hull. Directed by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A corpse in the woods is shown lying face down on a sports magazine swimsuit edition; the cover contains a woman wearing a skimpy bikini, supporting herself on knees and hands on a beach (we see some cleavage) and the corpse is shown with a large erection in his trousers (the penis moving in wide circles, then up and down, and back and forth). A magazine picture of a woman wearing a bikini (we see her navel, very skimpy panties and cleavage) causes a corpse to have and erection in his trousers and we see the penis moving; the dead man says that his body is disgusting as a living man jumps back, and then pokes the erection with a stick. A picture of a woman's face on a cell phone produces an erection in a corpse. A flashback scene shows a close-up of a finger depressing and deflating the groin area of trousers in which a large erection is visible. A corpse experiences a visible erection in his trousers, causing a young girl to cry and put her face to the ground; another man slaps the erection down and scolds the corpse. A man follows the direction that a corpse's erection is pointing, to get out of woods. In a long shot focused on a hillside, a man sits with a corpse and suddenly shakes his hands out as the pair mentions an erection; it is unclear whether masturbation takes place, but no flesh is seen.
 A male corpse and a man submerged in a river (Please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) kiss for a few seconds; bubbles escape their mouths as they stop, and then they kiss again for a few seconds. A man uses a corpse's teeth to cut string and licks remaining fibers out of the cadaver's mouth. A man sits on a male corpse, pushing it into a river, and looks like he is thrusting in a sex act. Role-playing a first date with a man wearing women's clothing to portray the woman, a male corpse asks, "I feel that I want to put my mouth on your mouth" (as well as a couple of explicit sex acts) and the man dressed as a woman shouts, "It's not about sex!" (they hold hands briefly). A corpse tells a man dressed in women's clothing (thinking he is a woman) to masturbate the man and an imagined scene shows the man kissing a version of himself (dressed as a woman) for a few seconds.
 A man says that when he was 11 his mother said she was horny and that if he would masturbate frequently, he could catch up to Mom's age quickly (incest is implied). A man says that as a kid he used to dig in the bushes by the freeway to find his father's stash of magazines, like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. A male corpse with amnesia says that when he gets back home he will marry a woman and have twins. A male corpse says that love is bringing him back to life. A male corpse tells a man dressed in women's clothing that he looks beautiful.
 A flashback shows that a man dressed in women's clothing is unable to speak to an attractive woman. A man disguises himself in women's clothing, using cloth strips and yarn as hair, a sleeveless top, and a short skirt made of torn rags and twine; he speaks occasionally in a falsetto voice.
 We see a close-up of a man's bare buttocks three times.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A bear enters a campsite where a man and a cadaver are and it roars loudly with saliva covered, large sharp teeth; the man loads the corpse's mouth with stones, but the magic rifle action he expects does not work and the bear bites the man's leg (we see bloody rips, and blood splashes onto the corpse's face as the man screams); the man slaps the bear on the head and waves a burning stick at it while the corpse uses a flaming flatulent that explodes loudly and propels himself and the man onto a tree limb. A bear grabs a man by one leg and drags him slowly away; we see the man's tearful face and upper body as he moves on his back along the ground. A corpse propels himself from a tree limb to the ground, convulses, staggers, crawls, and climbs onto a campfire and creates a flaming flatulent that explodes loudly and frightens a bear away; the corpse catches himself aflame and rolls and a man puts the flames out.
 A sunburned man with facial blisters stands on a tiny island on a picnic cooler with a rope around his neck, attached to something in a shallow cave; he hums a tune and loses balance, gasping and righting himself, then steps off the cooler, but sees a man face down on the beach in the distance, he loses his footing, hangs and gags, the rope breaks and he falls to the ground unhurt. A man, using a corpse's powers shoots the head off a raccoon with a propelled rock and we see a bloody neck briefly; we later see the man and the corpse eating raccoon meat cooked on the campfire. When a corpse first speaks, a man screams, punches the corpse in the face, and runs away. A corpse carries a man on its back and falls into a backyard, where the man and the corpse argue and scuffle.
 A man pulls a corpse across pipes high above a fast moving river; they slip once, then the pipe breaks, catching them by their clothing before they fall into the river, and they descend and magically levitate back up to the pipe. A man carries a corpse on his back or drags it through wooded areas in many scenes; they fall into shallow ravines a few times, but the man is unhurt. A corpse carries a man with a bloody, bandaged leg into the backyard of a woman who emerges from her house, seems wary, and then offers to help as the man and the corpse bicker and argue, their faces dirty and blood splattered. EMTs give a man a crutch and put a cadaver in a body bag. A man pulls corpse in a body bag off a gurney and drags it down a hill, through trees, to a river bank, into the water, then back out onto the bank, where he talks to it while observers look horrified and pitying. We hear loud growling sounds off-screen as a man and a corpse sit at a campfire; bushes sway and a black bear enters, the man shouts that the animal will eat him and the cadaver and then push them out of its butt (they escape unharmed).
 A handmade sailboat's sail has imprinted, "I don't want to die alone" as it floats as an SOS message along with a juice box marked "Help Me" and a scribble covered chip dip container. A man tells a corpse that people usually don't fart around each other, and the corpse asks, "Is that why you won't fart in front of me? That's sad." A corpse says that a particular woman can drink his spit and ride on his gas (flatulence). A corpse calls out to a man, "You're going to die now." A three-year-old girl can see a corpse interacting with a man, but adults cannot.
 A male corpse found on a beach has bluish facial skin, open eyes, and dirty hands and nails. We see dirty human skeletons sinking into dirt.
 A corpse produces loud flatulence in dozens of loud, short bursts and at least 15 extremely long episodes throughout the film: The first flatulence begins as another man starts CPR on him and we hear rumblings move from the chest down to the stomach and out with a loud stuttering roar; a man removes a corpse's belt and tries to hang himself with it, then sees flatulence rising as strong jets of water from the corpse's behind and then a massive amount of flatulence erupts and the corpse convulses for several seconds and shoots out to sea like a jet ski, with a man on its back hanging onto the corpse's tie (we see both lying on a beach). A corpse convulses strongly, emits loud flatulence, and shoots out to sea like a motorboat. A man pushes on a corpse's chest and discovers a strong water fountain pouring from its mouth; the man drinks the water several times, and rigs up the cadaver in a tree to make a shower. A man puts popped popcorn into a cadaver's mouth, and thinking the corpse choked, the man does the Heimlich and discovers the corpse can be used to propel things like rocks and lengths of metal. A corpse lies with its face next to a pile of feces in the woods and later says, "Everyone poops." A Bible lies open with two pages covered in line drawings of animals defecating pellets, all drawn with feces used for finger paint. A man steps into large piles of feces and falls; we see and hear flies buzzing around. A man stands behind a bush at night and we see a long stream of urine (we cannot hear it). A man is shown bent over by a bush, retching, but we do not see vomit. A corpse's neck cracks loudly in several scenes. A corpse grimaces for extended periods with wide open eyes several times.
 A man runs, shouting madly at the sky for joy when he finds a small bag of cheese puffs; he later places his finger into the crumbs, and then into the mouth of a corpse. A man eats un-popped popcorn with loud crunching. A raccoon nibbles at a dead man's lips and the living man shoos the animal away.

PROFANITY 5 - About 8 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 18 sexual references, 24 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (dumb, stupid, weird, retarded, smelly, useless, dirty, freak, disgusting, ugly useless person, ugly dying sack of [scatological term deleted], sack of [scatological term deleted]), exclamations (shut up), 11 religious exclamations (e.g. Holy [scatological term deleted], Oh God, Oh My God, God Knows I've Tried), a cartoon image of animals defecating is found on Bible pages and drawn with feces. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A magazine display ad shows a large bottle of vodka, a man tells a corpse that can't sit up straight that the corpse is tipsy and that he is drunk, and a dream-like flashback shows two men toasting with cups of an unknown beverage.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Shy people, low self-esteem, emotions, mental illness, role-playing, homoerotic feelings and male bonding, hallucinations, imagination, death, regret, missing out on life, fear, courage, relationships, friendship, love, reaching out, understanding, belief.

MESSAGE - We need our emotions and other humans in order to survive.

Special Keywords: S7 - V7 - P5 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.




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